UK: May staggers on as more than a third of Tory MPs oppose her
13 December 2018
Prime Minister Theresa May survived a vote of no confidence by her own Conservative Party Wednesday evening. In a vote of the 317 MPs, May won with the support of 200, with 117 voting against.
The large vote against her by her hard-Brexit wing, combined with the loss of support from the 10 Democratic Unionist Party MPs, confirms that May is numbered among the walking dead. Arch critic of her proposed Brexit deal with the European Union, Jacob Rees-Mogg, told the press, “163 Conservative MPs are on the payroll—ministers, PPSs, vice chairmen of the party, trade envoys, and therefore of the non-payroll of the back benchers, the prime minister lost really very heavily.”
May was told that 48 MPs had written letters demanding a no confidence vote after returning from a lightening round of diplomacy Tuesday night, desperately trying to obtain further concessions from European leaders following her decision not to hold a vote in parliament—that she would have lost—on her proposed deal over the terms for exiting the EU.
Winning the no confidence vote means she cannot face another for a year, but does not resolve the crisis of rule in Britain. Seeking to exert maximum pressure, May said Wednesday morning outside 10 Downing Street that if she were to be defeated any new Tory leader would not realistically be in place until late January at the earliest, and that they would be forced to extend Article 50—the legislation authorising withdrawal—and delay Brexit until after the scheduled exit date of March 29, 2019. Even so, she was forced to promise a meeting of the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs, just before they cast their votes, that she would stand down as Tory leader…